Algeria’s Oran Mediterranean games turn to scandalous fiasco
Algeria’s military junta planned to use the Mediterranean games to polish the image of a country beset by authoritarianism, poverty and instability. But its hopes were crushed, as the country accumulated rebukes for its organization fiasco.
In a regime that has for long politicized sports and culture, the Algerian regime denied access to nine Moroccan journalists. They were held at the airport without food for over 30 hours.
Algeria accused the well-known sports journalists in Morocco of being spies in what insinuates that the whole of Algeria as a country has become a military caserne! The move however was expected by a regime that made hostility to Morocco one of its tenets.
Earlier this month, Algeria received a first blow from the International Committee of Mediterranean Games which indirectly decried the political use of the sports event to polish a decaying regime.
“Mediterranean games were not showcased, and some countries were erased from the map of the Mediterranean sea,” said the committee in a rebuke over the opening ceremony which was rather focused on Algeria only.
“Transportation was a total fiasco,” said the committee, noting that many guests were left waiting for hours.
These dysfunctions are “unacceptable and unprecedented,” the committee said, adding that these organizational shortfalls added to the lack of drinking water and medical support.
The statement’s language could have been harsher had it been issued after all the serious and intended errors by organizing Algeria.
Morocco’s anthem was cut as organizers omitted the last part of it referring to the Kingdom’s motto “God, the Homeland and the King.”
The organizers even call it the Fassi anthem to avoid saying Morocco, in a despicable act of hostility.
An Albanian gold winner was forced to hear the Libyan anthem instead of the Albanian and so did a Spanish team who heard the Italian anthem!